Blogging is the holy grail of modern marketing. Once your blog post reaches the top of Google, it will stay there, for years, collecting leads for you on auto-pilot – for free. This is the beauty of blogging for real estate leads.
…And this is why Zillow pumps out 6 blog posts a day, ultimately crushing local agents online in every market they enter.
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The Benefits of Real Estate Blogging
There’s a common misconception among real estate agents that blogging isn’t as effective as cold calling or door knocking. But this simply isn’t true. When you publish a post properly, it should always lead to more business – And if this isn’t happening for you, then keep reading…
According to Hubspot:
- 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2016)
- 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. (HubSpot, 2016)
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)
- B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
Blogging really does need to be at the core of your real estate marketing strategy. Again, if you don’t believe me, ask Zillow how they rank number one in Google for any city they choose.
The Only Blog Posts That Work Today
A decade ago, the internet was a lot less crowded. I ran a small eCommerce store and whenever I would hit publish, my post would be featured at the top of Google soon thereafter. But that’s not how it works anymore.
Nowadays, your blogs must be evergreen, helpful, long-form, high-quality posts.
- Evergreen means that the blog will be just as relevant a year from now as it is today.
- Helpful means that the topic must be something that people care enough about to search on Google.
- Long-form means 1000 words or more. (I don’t publish anything under 1500.)
- High-quality means that the posts must be well-written – i.e. no more convoluted, crappy posts.
I know that these 4 characteristics sound overwhelming, but trust me, these are the only types of blog posts that are viable now (and in the future). These are the blog posts that are going to get you leads, sales, and referrals.
Case Study: The Christmas Lights Post
For one of my marketing clients, a real estate agent, I created a Christmas Lights post. In that post, I wrote about everything that someone would need in order to see the lights in her area during the holidays. The post rose to the number one spot on the first page of Google within 4 days. And as the holiday approached, she received so many phone calls, emails, and texts that she was literally overwhelmed.
To capture even more leads, I created a corresponding Google Map that showed residents where to exit the freeway and park, so they could shave 1-2 hours off their travel time when seeing the lights.
All in all, we received 5,000+ hits to her website and 500+ contacts added to her database. And get this: We’re still at the top of the Google search results, which means that we’ll be able to duplicate it all over again next year – without spending one more minute writing or one more cent marketing!
The Blog Post Topics That Will Give You The Quickest Results…
Blogging for real estate leads is definitely a long-term marketing strategy, but there are certain posts that will start ranking in Google and give you results faster than others.
To get to the top of search engines fast, make sure that you are blogging about hyper-local topics. These are the topics that only a real estate agent would know about her farm. No, I’m not talking about housing statistics – that’s boring and, remember, we’re blogging for attention.
Instead, write about what living in the neighborhood is like. Tell readers about the best places to eat, things to do on weekends, where to stay, where to play, historical venues, local hot spots, fun events, activities for kids, etc. These are the things that both local residents and potential residents will be Googling online.
Neighborhood Posts: The Real Estate Agent’s Secret Weapon
When it comes to blogging for real estate leads, the neighborhood post is every agent’s secret weapon. They are totally relevant to your website, they index well in Google, you can take pictures easily – and it’s totally appropriate to sprinkle in some housing stats, IDX pages here, open houses, and listings.
If I were a new real estate agent, just starting out, even before I took my licensing test, I would write a monster post called, “Moving to [city name]: Everything You Need To Know.” It would be evergreen, helpful, 2,000+ words, and well-written. In this post, I would have information and links to all of the topics I just mentioned above.
I would run ads to the post on Facebook until Google took note of its presence and started to rank the post on the first page for tons of relevant keywords. And just because I’m fancy, I would also run Facebook retargeting ads to anyone that visited the post – just to stay top of mind at all times.
“…But I Don’t Have Time To Blog”
A lack of time is the number one objection that I hear from real estate agents when it comes to blogging. Most of the time, they tell me that they would rather spend their time generating leads than blogging.
First of all, if I haven’t already made this abundantly clear, blogging IS lead generating. It should be an integral part of your lead generation time. If you need to schedule 30 minutes a day to pump out 1 or 2 blog posts a week, then make it happen. I promise you’ll start making time to blog consistently when you get your first lead and close your first sale.
“…But Blogging is Boring”
Blogging is only boring when you’re writing about things that you hate. If you’re blogging about the number of homes sold, blah, blah, blah…. It’s painful to write (and painful to read).
But if you’re writing about fun things to do in the summer time or the best places to eat, you’ll never get bored. And again, I doubt you’ll think it’s boring when you start getting leads, sales, and referrals from your blog posts. #justsayin
Don’t Pass The Buck
You can hire an editor to clean up your posts or fill in the gaps, but the content of the posts must come from you. There’s no way around this one.
The reason why Zillow hasn’t stepped into the hyper-local arena is because they can’t. They don’t know the local area like you do and this is why there is a huge opportunity for you to fill the void. But in order for that to happen, your posts have to be written about relevant, local topics that can’t be found easily online.
It’s the knowledge in your head that makes you an expert, makes you relevant, and makes clients want to hire you and refer you. Zillow can’t compete with your expertise… Ever. But if Zillow can’t do it (with all of their resources), neither can a hired writer – unless you’re lucky enough to find one that lives locally.
Get this knowledge out of your head and out to the masses… And do it quickly – before a competitor beats you to the punch.
The Best Neighborhood Pages On The Internet
There are two websites that are absolutely crushing neighborhood blog posts. The first is called Compass, a coast-to-coast real estate agency. And the second is called AirBnb, a vacation home rental company. Just to give you an idea of how awesome these websites are, here’s a New York City page from Compass and here’s one from Airbnb.
Agents Who Have Mastered Blogging For Real Estate Leads
Ryan Fitzgerald, a real estate agent in Raleigh, has done an amazing job with his website’s blog. Case in point: When I Google the phrase “Moving to Raleigh NC.” He comes up number one…
Dustin Brohm, an agent in Salt Lake City, is another agent that’s crushing it at blogging. Likewise, when I Google “Moving to Salt Lake City.” He comes up number one as well…
I hope that you now have a better idea about blogging for real estate leads. I know blogging isn’t always easy and that you’re busy. But incorporating this into your lead generation time needs to be a priority on your list this year!
Finally, before you go, tell me one thing from this article that hit home for you the most about blogging for real estate leads.